Identification Number:
DI 25015 TN 28
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ODP
Title:Ability to Perform Other Work
Type:POMS Full Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:


Part DI – Disability Insurance

Chapter 250 – Medical-Vocational Evaluation

Subchapter 15 – Ability to Perform Other Work

Transmittal No. 28, 06/21/2024



Originating Component


Effective Date



This transmittal revises ODP POMS sections for the publication of SSA’s final rule changing the relevant work period for past relevant work from 15 years to 5 years. In addition to adding a reference to the new 30-day-minimum requirement for PRW, we remove reference to a rescinded Social Security Ruling.

Summary of Changes

DI 25015.015 Work Experience as a Vocational Factor

  • We removed a reference to SSR 82-62.

  • We added a reference to the new 30-day-minimum requirement for PRW.

  • We replaced references to a 15-year relevant work period with references to a 5-year relevant work period.

  • We repaired broken links.

DI 25015.015 Work Experience as a Vocational Factor


404.1565, 404.1568, 416.965, and 416.968

SSR 00-4p

A. Work experience defined

Work experience is skills and abilities individuals acquire through previous work which show the type of work they may be expected to do. A gradual change occurs in most jobs so that after five years it is no longer realistic to expect that skills and abilities acquired in a job done then continue to apply.

B. We consider work experience from past relevant work (PRW)

1. Work experience applies when past work

  • was substantial gainful activity,

  • was not started and stopped in fewer than 30 calendar days, see DI 25001.001A.96,

  • lasted long enough for an individual to learn to do it, and

  • was done within the last five years.

NOTE: While the regulations provide that a claimant’s work experience is usually relevant when the work was done within the last five years, in some cases work done prior to the five-year period may be considered relevant to establish a continuity of skills, knowledge, and processes between such work and the individual’s more recent occupations; see DI 25005.015C, in this section. We also consider earlier work experience when applying certain special medical-vocational profiles; see DI 25010.001.

2. Generally, we do not consider work experience that ended more than five years before the date on which we are deciding whether an individual is disabled.

For cases where we consider a different five-year period, see DI 25001.001A.65.

For medical vocational profiles where we consider more than five years of work experience, see DI 25010.001.

C. Procedure for determining and documenting skill level of PRW

1. Consider whether each PRW job corresponds to a Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) occupation

  • The DOT occupational title of an individual’s PRW may be different from the job title listed by the individual.

  • The DOT occupational title (if one exists) is determined from the description of the job duties and activities described by the individual (or an employer, coworker or family member, should the individual be unable to provide a sufficient description).

  • The job duties and activities, not the job title given by the individual, are determinative.

2. If the PRW corresponds to a DOT occupation

  • Look up the occupation’s specific vocational preparation (SVP) rating.

  • Consider the occupation to be unskilled if the SVP rating is 1 or 2.

  • Consider the occupation to be semiskilled if the SVP rating is 3 or 4.

  • Consider the occupation to be skilled if the SVP rating is 5 or above.

3. If the job does not correspond to a DOT occupation

  • Compare the job duties and activities with the definitions of unskilled, semiskilled, and skilled work in DI 25001.001 and with the SVP timeframes listed in the DOT.

  • Consider a job unskilled if its SVP time is determined to be a short demonstration up to and including 1 month.

  • Consider a job semiskilled if its SVP time is determined to be over 1 month up to 6 months.

  • Consider a job skilled if its SVP time is determined to be more than 6 months.

NOTE: In making the determination about skill level (and SVP), consider SVP ratings for DOT occupational titles that, while not corresponding to the PRW described by the individual, have duties and activities similar (in terms of skill level) to those that the claimant performed.

EXAMPLE: A claimant has PRW as a website developer. The claimant lists duties as communicating with designers to understand preferred website layout, coding new pages and website elements for client approval, testing new website elements across various search engines and devices, migrating successful website elements to live sites when testing is successful, troubleshooting any issues with client-facing content, updating website themes, plugins, and security to reflect current website best practices, monitoring and reporting website traffic and addressing website elements that can improve user experience. Website developer is not a job that has an occupational counterpart in the DOT. There is an occupation called Design Technician Computer Aided (DOT 003.362-010). It requires knowledge of CAD and graphics. It has an SVP of 5. There is also an occupation called Computer Programmer (DOT 030.162-010) which requires coding knowledge for entire programs rather than just design features. It has an SVP of 7. It would be reasonable to find that a website developer has an SVP of approximately 6 given the need to know some design software, design, and coding principles to develop a website. Such work would take more than six months to learn and would be considered skilled work.

Determining the skill level of a job may sometimes be a complex vocational issue. For more information about

  • PRW, see DI 25005.015.

  • definitions of no work experience, unskilled work, skilled work, and semiskilled work, see DI 25001.001.

D. Work experience categories

When evaluating whether a claimant can do other work, use the highest work experience category reflective of the claimant’s PRW. If the claimant has no PRW, use the “no work experience” category.

  1. 1. 

    No work experience,

  2. 2. 

    Unskilled work experience,

  3. 3. 

    Semiskilled or skilled work experience, with no transferable skills, or

  4. 4. 

    Semiskilled or skilled work experience with transferable skills.

NOTE: If the claimant has semiskilled or skilled work experience, transferability of skills may or may not be material to the determination. For information about when a TSA is required, see DI 25015.017A.

E. Documenting PRW skill level and work experience category in the Disability Case Processing System (DCPS)

If the claimant has PRW, document the highest skill level of the individual’s PRW on the DCPS Vocational Assessment page.

DI 25015 TN 28 - Ability to Perform Other Work - 6/22/2024